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Guneet Khanuja
Guneet Khanuja • Mar 3, 2014

Interview with Alexander Piutti - Founder, GameGenetics

GameGenetics was founded by Alexander Piutti in the year 2009 in Berlin. GameGenetics allows game developers and publishers to market games and is one of the leading distributors of online free-to-play games.
Alexander has completed his bachelor's degree in Electrical engineering in 1993 and has more than 18 years of work experience in some of the biggest firms including General Electric, Booz Allen Hamilton, Yahoo! Europe etc. He believes that entrepreneurship is his life blood. Alexander has founded three companies till date.

Read the following interview to know more about the gaming industry - the energy level in the industry as well the various challenges GameGenetics has faced till date.

AlexanderPiutti

1. Could you please brief us about various online and mobile games developed by GameGenetics?

Alexander:
We do not develop games at all. We offer full service user acquisition for 230 game developers of all sizes, including all the big names in the online and mobile games industry. We market close to 700 games in more than 2,500 traffic channels across the globe and we have exclusive media partnerships in 25 countries. We also offer white-label app solutions that are pre-installed on Dell and Lenovo devices worldwide, and we have a strategic partnership with MSN where we provide a selection of the best online games to their daily users.

2. Just one year after you launched GameGenetics, you received “The Most Innovative Content Startup of 2010” award. How does it feel?

Alexander:
It feels great, and is also a great appreciation of the fact that we are no copycats. Our business model evolved over time, and it involved a lot of hit and miss.
We learned from our experiences, good and bad, and, for me at least, that feels more rewarding than taking an existing business model and cloning it.
3. Why do you follow the concept of being a strict B2B Company? Does is not affect your sales?

Alexander:
Not at all, since our entire business model is geared towards B2B. Targeting individual customers would be ineffective and time-consuming, and not suitable for the way we work. We actually started with a B2C platform that we used to promote games. It is called POPMOG and still exists to this day, but we eventually saw more potential in distributing games, so now we only use it as one of many traffic channels to promote games. Without it, we would never have started doing traffic partnerships, however, that’s why I like to see it as the first step to the great company we are today.

4. How does your development team look like right now?

Alexander:
Our development team is actually quite big, roughly a quarter of our whole team of 65. Since all of our technology is developed in-house, the development, maintenance and further improvement of a platform that is self-learning and able to handle billions of ad views on a monthly basis takes a lot of work, so we need such a big team. We are actually looking to grow it further and are searching new talents for the development team right now.

GameGenetics_Team

5. How difficult was it for you to put together the resources needed to start GameGenetics?

Alexander:
We started as a small company working from my living room, so the resources required for the start were manageable. Financing the next stages of growth were more difficult, since we needed a lot of technical equipment. We are lucky to have investors who believe in us and our visions, and were able to secure the required resources. My background and track-record as a successful entrepreneur also contributed to securing the necessary funding.

6. What according to you was the biggest technical and monetary challenge GameGenetics had to face?

Alexander:
The biggest monetary challenge was definitely the transition period from consumer portal to B2B marketplace. It was kind of a vicious circle because the big developers did not know us, and therefore we would not get their best games. Without good games, it was hard to convince other developers to work with us.
We managed to overcome the obstacle with a lot of hard work and dedication.
We delivered good results and quality users for the games that were entrusted to us, and once we became more well known in the industry as reliable and hard-working business partners, it was kind of a domino effect – one after the other, the most important developers started working with us. The biggest technical challenge is to this day, the fact that all of the systems we use to set up and monitor campaigns are developed by us. That gives us great flexibility and the ability to implement any additional features we need, but it is definitely a lot of work as well.

7. Being a B2B Company, how big is the market that you are targeting?

Alexander:
We are currently looking at a market of approximately $35 billion. You have to keep in mind that marketing and user acquisition make up 70 percent revenues of gaming companies. Triple-A blockbuster game GTA V alone had a marketing budget of $200 million. The opportunities are huge for those with the IT-infrastructure to effectively set up multi-channel campaigns and deliver users. At the same time, the market is big enough to support several companies like ours.

8. Online and mobile gaming is considered to be a very big market. Who according to you is your biggest competitor and what makes GameGenetics better than the rest?

Alexander:
As I said, it is a huge market that is quite able to support several companies that do what we do. We see our competitors as an added incentive to do our best every single day. As to what sets us apart: We are a tech-driven, extremely service-oriented company. We will go the extra mile to make our customers happy and always try to find ways to improve ourselves.

GameGenetics Office

9. GameGenetics has seen an outstanding growth. Where do you see GameGenetics one year down the lane?

Alexander:
It’s been a wild ride so far. We had our difficulties when we started, but now we are on the right track. Business is really starting to take off, and we will have to move offices for the third time this year to accommodate the growing staff. In a year from now, I see us even bigger and better. We are currently implementing new structures, which has become necessary due to the size we have reached now. The new teams will be functioning, and new faces will have swelled our ranks. One thing will hopefully stay the same though, regardless of how many people we are. I really hope that the exceptional team-spirit and sense of unity remains with us, because that is something that I feel is really special about GameGenetics.

10. Any message for Crazy Engineers?
Alexander:
I would like to encourage the readers to always follow their dreams.
Don’t let temporary setbacks or failures prevent you from doing what you want to do.
Sometimes, as in my case, it might take some minor adjustments or adaptations to market demands.
When you persist and give it your all, good things will eventually happen to you.

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